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Deutsche Bank's ex-head of EMEA banking to benefit from £6.5bn IPO

While investment bankers at Deutsche Bank sit around waiting for deals to return and watch the bank paying what are probably generous guaranteed bonuses to attract new senior people, their former European leader is thriving doing something completely different.

Alasdair Warren, the former EMEA head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank, is CEO of WE Soda, the soda ash producer that today revealed its intention of listing on the London Stock Exchange at an expected valuation of around £6.5bn. At least 10% of the share capital will subsequently be available for trading.

It's not clear how much Warren himself will make from the listing, but he will presumably receive something more substantial than a Deutsche Bank bonus for his endeavours. 

Warren joined WE Soda as a non-executive director in 2018 after leaving Deutsche Bank. He has been chief executive since 2019 and is based in London, although many of the company's extractive operations are in Turkey where Turkish businessman Turgay Ciner, one of WE Soda's key shareholders is based. Ciner is likely to be the main beneficiary of the listing: Ciner Group will sell shares in the IPO. 

Warren's potential windfall is a reminder that it's not necessary to join a technology company or a fintech start-up to make money after banking: plain old extraction can also be lucrative. Soda ash is used in glass manufacturing, which - among other things - is necessary for the production of solar panels. Warren, who worked for Goldman Sachs and Citi before joining Deutsche, including in the Middle East, is likely to have encountered Ciner as a client. 

While he's not managing a multinational soda ash business, Warren can be found in Dorset, where he runs a small entertainment empire, including an historic cinema. Speaking to a local paper in January, he said his Dorset initiatives were likely to make a loss until 2025, but that he would keep them going because around 40 local families depended upon them.

Deutsche Bank is one of several bookrunners on WE Soda's listing, but the joint global coordinators are Goldman, BNP Paribas and JPMorgan Cazenove.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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